Kilauea is active again

October 1st, 2021 |
GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared, 0126 – 1156 UTC on 1 October 2021 (Click to enlarge)

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared imagery, above, shows the hot-spot associated with the latest eruptive phase of the Halema’uma’u Crater on Kilauea’s southern slope. (Click here for webcams).

The Day Night band from VIIRS on board Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 show the light source from the eruption as well, as shown in the toggle below (imagery from the Honolulu Direct Broadcast site, here)

VIIRS Day Night Band imagery from Suomi NPP (1111 UTC) and NOAA-20 (1200 UTC), 1 October 2021 (Click to enlarge)

The NOAA/CIMSS Volcanic Cloud Monitoring Web Portal (i.e., VOLCAT — link) include a Kilauea sector under the Washington DC VAAC tab; an imagery example is here.


FDCA — the Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm — should have a signal here but does not. The landcover dataset used for the product is missing Hawaii. Fires aren’t looked for when land does not exist, even if its absence is in error. NOAA/NESDIS Scientists and their partners at CIMSS are working to correct this oversight.

Eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i

December 21st, 2020 |

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 (GOES-West) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) displayed the thermal anomaly (cluster of hot pixels) and brief volcanic cloud resulting from an eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i on 21 December 2020. The coldest cloud-top 10.35 µm infrared brightness temperature was -34.6ºC at 0840 UTC — which roughly corresponded to the 300 hPa or 9.6 km altitude according to 12 UTC rawinsonde data from nearby Hilo (plot | text). However, this volcanic cloud quickly dissipated in the very dry air aloft.

GOES-17 Near-infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared images (below) showed the variation in thermal signatures during the hours leading up to sunrise. The signature in Near-Infrared imagery was occasionally attenuated by the passage of trade wind cumulus clouds over the eruption site.

GOES-17 Near-infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Near-infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Near-infrared (1.61 µm and 2.25 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.75 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images (below) provided a high spatial resolution view of the thermal and emitted light signatures of the ongoing eruption at 1221 UTC.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Near-infrared (1.61 µm and 2.25 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.75 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Near-infrared (1.61 µm and 2.25 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.75 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

A larger-scale view of GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared, SO2 RGB and Ash RGB images (below) showed the southward transport of a mid/high-altitude plume of SO2 (lighter shades of yellow to cyan) from the initial eruption, followed by the southwestward transport of a more persistent low-altitude plume of SO2 as the eruption continued during the day. No signature of volcanic ash was indicated (either qualitatively on the Ash RGB images, or on retrieved ash products from this site). At times the thermal anomaly of the eruption site exhibited 3.9 µm infrared brightness temperatures as hot as 105ºC.

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), SO2 RGB and Ash RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), SO2 RGB and Ash RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) displayed the volcanic fog (or “vog”) plume that moved southwestward during the day — a portion of which became entrained into the circulation of a lee-side cyclonic gyre southwest of the Big Island.

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Lava flows continue from Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone

June 18th, 2018 |

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), Shortwave Infrared I04 (3.75 µm), Shortwave Infrared M13 (4.05 µm) and Longwave Infrared (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), Shortwave Infrared I04 (3.75 µm), Shortwave Infrared M13 (4.05 µm) and Longwave Infrared (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), Shortwave Infrared I04 (3.75 µm), Shortwave Infrared M13 (4.05 µm) and Longwave Infrared (11.45 µm) images (above) showed signatures of the ongoing lava flows from the Lower East Rift Zone of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i at 1225 UTC (2:25 am local time) on 18 June 2018.

Note how the central ribbon of hottest lava flow (which continues its active ocean entry) saturated the I04 3.75 µm image, causing a “wrap-around” effect to display cold brightness temperatures (white pixels) — although the M13 4.05 µm band has a lower spatial resolution, it saturates at much higher temperatures, and sensed brightness temperatures in the 480 to 557 K range. The Infrared images also showed evidence of steam clouds flowing southward over the adjacent offshore waters.

A webcam image from near Kapoho (PGcam) around the time of the NOAA-20 VIIRS images is shown below. The active Fissure 8 is near the center of the image.

Webcam image from near Kapoho [click to enlarge]

Webcam image from near Kapoho [click to enlarge]

VIIRS imagery and webcam capture courtesy of William Straka (CIMSS).

Lava flow from Kilauea in Hawai’i

June 6th, 2018 |

GOES-15 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-15 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i continued to be active into early June 2018 — and GOES-15 (GOES-West) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) imagery (above) showed the thermal anomaly or “hot spot” (black to yellow to red enhancement) associated with lava flows from active fissures in the East Rift Zone on 06 June.

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm) images (below) showed clouds of steam from the East Rift Zone drifting to the south-southwest; a hazy plume of volcanic fog or “vog” was also evident, which was being transported farther to the southwest by the northeasterly trade wind flow.

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

A Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) image at 2307 UTC (below) showed clear skies over Kapoho on the eastern tip of the Big Island, with steam plumes from the active East Rift Zone fissures flowing southwestward.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) image [click to enlarge]

The corresponding VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) image (below) helped to discriminate between the hot brightness temperatures of recent (and old) lava flows and the cooler brightness temperatures exhibited by regions of vegetation.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) image [click to enlarge]

A closer look at the Kilauea East Rift Zone (below) provided a detailed view of the recent lava flow and active fissures, including the lava field that entered and covered Kapoho Bay a few days earlier. Note the appearance of numerous multi-colored pixels in the center of the lava field — the 3.74 µm I04 band detectors on the VIIRS instrument saturate around 385 K, so the hottest lava features which exceeded that brightness temperature threshold ended up being displayed as cold pixels (the so-called “wrap-around” effect). There is a Moderate-resolution M13 band (4.05 µm) on VIIRS which saturates at a much hotter 700 K; while it is a lower spatial resolution (750 meters, vs 375 meters for the I04 band), the M13 band can be useful for sampling the actual temperature of very hot features such as lava flows or wildfires.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Thanks to Jordan Gerth (CIMSS) and Eric Lau (NWS Pacific Region Headquarters) for providing the VIIRS imagery for this case.

Update: This link shows Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 imagery before and after the Kapoho Bay lava flow.